Ted’s essays

settled in to my domain

A main driver of my life is gaining control of my homestead, estate, working spaces and equipment. After each move from one to another, the list of urgent/critical projects is immediately followed by the crucial, then important and so on until I reach the settled in phase. In each case there is some marker that gives me the feeling I have arrived. Seven years into our Bunkhouse occupancy, I finally hit what I think is that marker. I am comfortable that I know what spaces I want to irrigate, have them relatively easy to wet and no longer have to disconnect hoses, move pipes and reconnect to run my mower around the yard. This evolved irrigation system will be reasonably […]

They followed me home. Can I keep them?

Time is short buy the motorcycle. Or in my case this month, buy both of them. 1) In the Bitterroot we spend Spring to Fall watching an endless stream of motorcyclists passing through enjoying the world from the saddles of their motorcycles. I am always envious of them, even when they ride boulevarders of no serious interest to me. They all fill me with powerful remembered emotions of loving life astride a motorcycle that few of us get to live. 2) My crystal ball tells me we will very soon be living in 3rd-World conditions – At Best. In the 3rd-World successful entrepreneurs and the better-off impoverished use motorcycles. Next level down are bicycles, then good-old shoe leather, usually […]

Tennis tales from the only guy the coach couldn’t beat

My Dad loved tennis and gave me excellent private lessons. The skills and techniques he taught me were a great foundation. Tennis is a very fast-moving strategy and technique game that I was uniquely well suited for. In a graduating class of 1,000 and a school of almost 3,000 students, I was not only among the smallest boys there, I was the third best tennis player in the school … including the tennis coach in that pool. Among the more important bits in tennis are hitting the ball where your opponent is not, making it as difficult as possible for him to return the ball, striving to keep him off balance, doing the unexpected… an undercut short shot just […]

my career as a bugler

I once was a bugler for the United States Air Force. The government paid me $98 a month plus cheesy room and board, officially making me a professional musician. It is a bit of a convoluted story, but here we go: When I turned 19 years old, all healthy males my age who were not politically connected or fully engaged in college were whisked off into the army or marines to tramp around in a far away jungle and shoot at or be shot by complete strangers. None of that appealed to me so I enlisted in the air force. In basic training we took a written test intended to gauge our trainability for various job assignments. I tested […]

Gone RACING

I recently posted Gone Fishing using that phrase as a metaphor for my particular breakaway from the normal, everyday life. Here I use a much more accurate title. Racing is most accurately described as a competition wherein one tries to go faster than another. I will not be in a competition, but rather just running the track as fast as this man and my GT50 machine care to go – which is a whole bunch faster than normal people would drive within their comfort zones. I expect to get my ’87 Honda CRX around 115-120mph in the straight between TURN 15 and TURN 1, before braking hard for a corner likely to require me to be going 35-45 in […]

Gone Fishing

Normally clear studio surfaces speak of a cluttered life I am pulling out of my garage in one week… heading south to Utah Motorsports Complex for National Auto Sports Association’s March Madness. I am transitioning from The Beast to a much nicer, newer Z-71 optioned Suburban, The Z-Wagon. The Beast had an antenna farm on the back 1/3 of its roof and capability of running half a dozen amateur radios at a time on numerous different frequencies. I am putting some time, thought, energy and money into adding one multi-band radio to The Z-Wagon. Additionally there are numerous mechanical fix-ups that go with replacement vehicles. I initiated and had to manage a local emergency-preparedness radio exercise I called “Light Up […]

Dance, Freddy, Dance

When I was a Daddy, I would tell bed-time stories to my daughters … made up on the spur of the moment, out of my head, just as my daddy did before me. Fast forward a bunch of years to a mid-twenties daughter who needed artistic expression and purpose in her life. So I wrote a story about my brother and asked her to illustrate it. This is our collaboration. I am happy enough with the result that I fancy it could be a published book … if anyone could share with me how to take the next steps, I would appreciate that boost. It already served its designed purpose. Anything past that is gravy. P.S. The formatting here […]

The Road Taken

We all do it – That is, look back at decisions made, actions taken, paths we followed that could have been chosen or handled differently. I know I am not the only one regretting mistakes made, insults given, opportunities missed. I have liked to remind myself that the other path could well have had me run over by a train. We play the hand we were dealt. Another is not among the choices available. I also consider myself to be in a good position, location and time. As ugly as things are for those choosing to see the darkness instead of light, we are living exciting times. We get to find out what we are made of, and extend […]

The blessings of a few hundred Gs

Today uncountable Gs definitely brought a smile to my face, a spring to my step. Organized crime (private sector) movies taught us to use Gs when referring to thousand-dollar bits. A hundred Gs is $100,000 in that parlance. I am abusing the pun here. My semi-retired Honda CRX race car was scowling at me from under its coat of dust. We hadn’t flexed our muscles in a very long time and the rapidly approaching winter threatened to add another 6 months to that streak. Heck, world events could add “forever” to it. Today I was harrumphing my way around the estate mulling over my impossibly long list of pre-winter chores when the CRX suggested we do something JUST FOR THE […]

my descent into awareness

How does one go from being perfectly normal to occupying the fringe I find myself in? Credit my oldest daughter … though I may well have found another route here had that one not come along, but I remember the turning point she brought home. In primary school she and her best friend shared the scholastic top of their class. The friend’s dad struck it rich, and she went off to an exclusive private high school for ninth grade. My daughter’s Dad couldn’t afford that, so she went to government high school. The next year a full-ride scholarship was offered to my girl, so she rejoined her best friend where they resumed their academic excellence positions. * This school was […]

upright bass / bass guitar / electric bass

I responded to a friend’s e-mail inquiry about my thoughts comparing the features of my upright bass, my acoustic bass guitar and electric basses. I am sharing an enhanced version of my reply here. I have played trombone since I was 10 years old, mostly because of my appreciation for swing, blues, jazz, big band, and concert band music. That is, creating the music more than simply listening to it, though I do plenty of both. Since it is so rare to find trombone opportunities in these woods, I decided to take up the bass. My first attempt was an electric bass with practice amp. Nope. The sound, the feel, the gaggle of gear, cables, electrical requirements all conspired […]

hair care

Via age and personality, I have approached caring for my hair a wide variety of ways. Some will be surprised that I was normal once upon a time. My hair looked like every other guy’s hair and the products in my shower were the same stuff that everybody in the country had in theirs. Once in a while circumstances would put extended periods of time between barber visits, both professional and volunteers. I was rather indifferent to that. The stuff grew. It was cut or not cut. I dealt with it either way. I have written and published several articles on why Nature tries to grow long hair on our heads and why we should respect that. I won’t belabor […]